So long 2018

As I’m sure you can guess, 2018 has not been my best year. Having cancer kinda slowed me down a bit. But like they say, what doesn’t kill ya makes ya stronger! I think there might be something to that because I definitely came out of this journey a stronger person. Stronger in my faith and in my belief in myself. The CEO of my coffee company and mentor, Jay Noland, says it’s up to me to have “a great day, every day no mater what!” Holding on to that teaching really made a difference in this experience. There were many days that I could have had a really big pity party but instead I was always looking for the positive in my day. Now I’m not going to lie, somedays it might have been just a day of peace and quiet in my bed taking a long nap. But some days it was hearing from a friend I hadn’t talk to in ages. So many blessing came to us.

Now going into this new year, I’m not going to make any crazy resolutions…ok maybe 1 or 2…but I AM going to do my best to make EVERYday a great day no matter what! I plan to journal and keep track of my great days and keep a positive out look on life. You see last Friday I was given the news that after my lumpectomy on the 21st, I was officially cancer free! Now that was a great day!

The next step is reconstruction (a reduction and lift) on Jan 16th. A few weeks of radiation and possibly the chemo pill for a few months for added insurance in my recovery. All things I will handle with great joy and strength.

I pray 2019 will bring you joy, strength and a great day everyday, no matter what!

My blessing for this last day in 2018 was my post op visit to my surgeon and a clean bill of health. Praise you Jesus! It’s been a great day!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

One more step completed.

Yesterday I had a lumpectomy on my left breast where the tumor was. The doctor also removed 4 lymph nodes just to be safe. The surgery that should have taken 45 minutes ran into 3 hours because she was waiting for pathology reports to come back. She told Terry everything looked good. Praise God and thank you for all your prayers!

The next step will come in 3 to 4 weeks when I will have reconstruction surgery. This will include a reduction and a lift. Folks I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of excited about the lift part. Perky for my 60’s… I’m ok with that. I’ll keep you posted on the next surgery date. This one happened so fast I didn’t have time to blog.

I want all of you to know I couldn’t have done this without your prayers and well wishes. Not to mention the families who came for 11 weeks, Monday through Friday and fed my boys because I was too sick to cook. We even had Thanksgiving dinner cook for us! Thank you Mike, Leslie and Sam. I’ve had people frequently bring me soup because it’s all I could eat. My children put together a kickball tournament fundraiser to help out with our medical bills, thanks kids! I had a woman come clean my house the day before Thanksgiving because I couldn’t…Thank you Heather! And I met some wonderful people at my oncologist office who did their part in saving my life. Thanks ladies and gentleman! Oh and I can’t forget about my Oncology chaperones, thank you for coming to pick me up, sit with me and drive me home!

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. This journey has brought me so many blessings. It’s strengthened my marriage, people we didn’t even know have fed us. I’ve had strangers praying for me and sending me gifts. Through this whole process, I’ve never felt alone. There were time I was down but I never felt like I was going through this alone. Thank you all so much. I truly love you and thank you all.

My blessings for today are you! You have been amazing!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

It took 20 weeks…

And it felt like it would never end but today I received my last chemo treatment. It was a monumental day. I was excited to have Madison as my nurse today because she was my nurse for my first treatment. It kinda brought it full circle. Terry took me to my appointment because his appointment was canceled. We got there and my daughter Melanie and son in law Joe showed up with a celebration cake. You see every time your nurse comes to administer meds she/he asked for your name and date of birth. So here’s a few pictures of some of my support team and my cake. Oh and Madison!

Joe left to go get the kids (Rylee and Lia) from school and when they got back we cut the cake. We all had a piece and offered it to anyone who was a nurse or in treatment to celebrate with us. I think there were only 4 or 5 small pieces left.

The Benadryl was trying to knock me out but I did my best to resist. About 20 minutes after Madison started the Taxol, I started feeling sick. Someone got me a ginger ale and it helped but I think sleep would have been the better answer. I just didn’t want to miss anything.

Before I knew it it was over and Madison was cleaning and unhooking my port. It all started on July 23rd and now it’s over. I just can’t believe it.

I DID IT!

There were days that I wanted to give up. Then I’d think about my husband and my children and my grand children and how could I quit. They have been my biggest cheerleaders since day one back in May when I heard those dreaded 3 words…Mrs. Pupp, YOU HAVE CANCER. They have been my energy this whole time. I told a lady the other day that I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. We have witnessed so many blessings. It drew Terry and I closer together, people came out of the wood work to prepare meals for my guys so I didn’t have to worry about them eating fast food every night. (Thank you Michelle) AND thank you Leslie for fixing us an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. I have to thank the Graham family for picking up Rylee and taking him to school on the days I couldn’t get out of bed. Oh and I’ve lost almost 50 pounds because I can’t eat. Food taste really nasty and leaves a funky film in my mouth. I’ve lived on soups that people have brought just for me. I’ve been given gift like a wall tapestry, the blanket in the pictures above, books and gifts cards galore…way too many to list and I just don’t know how to thank everyone. I am so thankful!

It hasn’t all been positive but we have chosen not to dwell on the negatives. Even when I was so sick I didn’t think I’d make it to the bathroom, I offered up my suffering for all those souls who had no one to pray for them. When I would receive communion, I asked Jesus who is in my body blood and soul to heal me with His Body Blood Soul and Divinity! And then I would thank Him for the miracles He’s already worked in my life.

So just before 4pm today, I walked out of the chemo room, stopping to ring the bell…

Then it happened…yes I cried the ugly cry and I hugged everyone that was there to support me.

I guess we didn’t get all the pictures. I’m not going to lie, I’m going to miss these people who worked so hard to save my life. There’s a bond that I don’t know how to explain. I will miss them! Now it’s over. Tomorrow I go for my MRI. On the 11th I meet with my surgeon to get the results and I think set the date for surgery. I’ll keep you posted. I’m sorry I haven’t written much but nothing has changed and I didn’t want to bore you.

My blessings for today…chemo is over, Madison still loves me and my family took time to come be with be on this day of celebration! I love you all! Oh and today is my oldest sons birthday so I’ll never forget the day of my last treatment. Happy Birthday Joey! I wish you could have been there!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Well, I have chemo brain!

Here I thought I published about my last treatment and I just opened the page to see it still sitting here unpublished…soooo I’m just going to hit publish and add that things are right on schedule!

Today my chemo companion is MY FRIEND Heather aka, crack head (not given to her by me) or Hebby. Did I get that right? If there are others, I’m unaware of them. Heather is ALSO my sons best friend from high school but I’m privileged to call her friend too. And I’m happy she’s come with me again. She makes me laugh…a lot! Oh… here we are!

Sue is my chemo nurse today. She is a friend from Church and I was surprised/pleased to see her training at my oncologist office. She did a great job and kept everything light. That is much needed for what most people are going through. Here Sue and I.

For the first time I got to hear someone ring the last treatment bell. It was a young man. I had seen him there before and was saddened by his young age. I’ve been praying for him and when I heard the bell ring and saw it was him I was so moved. I didn’t say anything I just thanked God for what I hoped were answered prayers.

Then there was a man I thought was there alone and was thrilled then I saw several men come in and pray with him. There’s something about this picture that brought me to tears too.

So there we are. My blessing for today was all the other people around me who were being blessed. Yep it’s that simple! Pray for someone today. Give someone a compliment. Smile at someone who looks alone. You will be blessed!

Diana

#standbyme

Hello there…

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. It’s been a rough week and to tell you the truth I didn’t even realize I didn’t post anything last Monday. Nothing had changed anyway. I’m still dealing with food tasting awful, muscle spasms are all the time and now the skin on my hands are all splotchy and they hurt. No lotion so far has provided any relief but no lotion is so painful. Oh and the crazy tingling in my finger tips I heard tell about has arrived. So maybe things have changed a little. Just not for the good. Only 4 weeks to go and I CAN do this! December 3 come on! Everything I read says it takes 1 to 4 weeks for your taste to return and when it does, I’m eating something chocolate…or maybe not. Some people never get their old cravings back. And that would be ok!

Now on a sweeter note…I saw my surgeon Thursday and after her exam she said she couldn’t find any evidence that the 9cm tumor had ever been there! Terry and I were both in tears at the news. She was so surprised and said whatever I’m doing to keep it up! It’s Ganoderma y’all! Am MRI ON December 4. Meeting with the plastic surgeon so after that. She said I will still have surgery and reconstruction and radiation but we still have time to pray that that’s not needed either! God is so good! So that’s my blessing for the week! Plus so many more.

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Iā€™m 10 down and 5 to go…

Well I’m getting there. I do my last treatment on December 3rd. It’s my son Joeys birthday. I’m looking forward to ringing the victory bell on the wall! I know Terry, Rylee andMel plan on being there and Joeys trying. I want to celebrate with my support circle! I finally see the end of the tunnel, thank you, Jesus! On top of that my surgeons office called me because she wants to see me ASAP. I’m glad because I need to get all the major stuff done by the end of the year! You guested it…the deductible has been met! šŸ˜ƒšŸ˜ŠšŸ˜‰

I’ve really not been feeling good for about 3 weeks running. Sundays are about the best and Monday I start all over again. Sunday in Church a sweet older lady came to tell me she was praying for me. I can’t for the life of me remember her name. She assured me this would be just like child birth. Soon after it’s over and I start to feeling better I won’t remember the pain and nausea any more. Then she told me she’s had cancer 3 times and beat it every time. My NEW hero!

I’ve had a few people ask me some question so I’m going to put them out here for you too. My younger son, Rylee asked what food taste like. If you’re following me you know I’m not eating much because food taste awful to me. Right now I’m not having the metallic taste but most of what I eat, I can’t eat because it taste like lard or leaves a coating in my mouth. OR BOTH. It’s hard to enjoy a meal when it taste like it’s gone rancid. That means no sugar because it taste like it’s burnt. No cookies or cakes or crackers… On the bright side, I’m loosing about 2 to 3 pounds a week. I can eat lightly seasoned meats. Raw vegetables in ranch, sliced apples and cheese curds…oh and salads with balsamic vinegar dressings. šŸ˜‹ oh and chicken noodle/rice soup is what I live on! My sweet chaperone for today was Michelle and she started a meal train for my family so I do t have to worry about my boys getting fed! Thanks Michelle!

She even shared her nuts with me! Thanks for everything! You’re the best!!

The other question I was asked was to explain the muscle spasms. Well…if you’ve never has a spasm, I’m not sure you’ll understand but I’ll try. Around my rib cage and a little below I’ll have a moment when a muscle seems to grab or tighten and it takes my breath away. Then it’s gone. It’s not constant but too often for sure. Somethings (Thursday and Friday usually) it’s more and faster and it seems deeper. The doctor assures me it’s just from the Tazol (Chemo drug) and when chemo over it will go away. The problem is that I go every Monday now. I don’t have a down week to recover. Do it seems to be adding up and I’m having a very hard time by Friday even standing up to dress. But I do!

Oh and I ran into one of Rylee’s Boy Scout leaders today. He was having his first treatment. They found out about a month ago that he has liver and pancreatic cancer. He’s for a rough road ahead of him. But he hugged me and we took a picture together. So if you don’t mind, please pray for my friend Seth.

So my blessings for today were to see Seth today and let him know we are praying for him and his family and of course Michelle my chaperone and meal train driver! You’re awesome!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme

Baby treatment #5

Only 6 more to go. Hummmm that doesn’t add up but I KNOW December 3rd is my last treatment and I’m ringing that brass bell with joy that day! Today started out very early at the oral surgeons office at 7:15am. Rylee has to have 2 teeth removed. It was 35* and we waited outside for 15 minutes only to find out we wouldn’t have time for the consultation because they don’t even start them until 8:15-8:30and my ride was picking me up at 8:40 for chemo. So I explained that my chemo schedule had been extended for 9 more weeks, all on Monday mornings. Then she tells me because if my “situation” they will make an exception and set a special appointment for us. Mind you, this will be our third attempt to be seen. Grrrrr. So we left, I took Rylee to school, I went home and waited for my ride and off to chemo we went. My daughter Melanie was my chaperone and the lovely Madison was my nurse. I forgot to take a picture of Madison but here’s Mel and I…

And me after mega Benadryl! Lights out!

So the mini treatments only last about 3 to 3.5 hours. We were out by 12 and went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Mel husband Joe met us there. My lunch wasn’t very good. I really don’t think I’m going to be happy until I get my salad from O’Charlies. And I will get it!

So it was a short day. I came home and laid down until our Meal Train person came with dinner at 5:15. Pasta, meatballs and sausage covered in cheese. Garlic bread, salad and chocolate chunk cookies. Thank you Miss Leslie. I could eat it all.

Tonight I will probably be up all night because of the steroids. I’m not sure what I’ll do…maybe go through my clothes and find somethings to wear with this chill in the air! I LOVE IT! Well, except for my neck!

My blessing for today was lunch with Mel and Joe and visiting with Leslie! Thanks again to you all!

Be blessed,

Diana

#standbyme